France coach Didier Deschamps celebrates after the match as France reach the final REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach
(Reuters) - France must now take the final step to win their second successive world title after they eliminated Morocco 2-0 in the World Cup semi-final on Wednesday, France coach Didier Deschamps said.
The defending champions took the lead in the fifth minute through defender Theo Hernandez before Randal Kolo Muani added another in the 79th to seal their fourth final appearance in the last seven editions.
"There's emotion, there's pride, there's going to be a final step," said Deschamps, who led them to the 2018 world title.
"We have been together with the players for a month, it's never easy. There's happiness so far."
Deschamps is only the fourth manager to lead a nation to back-to-back World Cup finals and France will be bidding to become the first team since Brazil in 1962 to retain the title.
"Playing two World Cup finals in a row is an incredible moment," said Hernandez.
"We did a good job. It was hard, but we are in the final.
"We will work hard to win this final. I also have a big thought for my brother," he added referring to Lucas Hernandez, who has been sidelined since suffering a serious knee injury in France's opening 4-1 group stage win over Australia.
France also hit the woodwork through Olivier Giroud but had to endure more than an hour of intense Moroccan pressure before sealing the win.
France President Emmanuel Macron, who was in the stands of Al Bayt stadium to watch their win, was quick to praise the team.
"Our compatriots need simple and pure joy, sport provides it and soccer in particular. I am much better now than I was an hour and a half ago," Macron said.
"We suffered a lot but we saw a great team. A huge thank you to our coach and to this team which is in fact a mixture of several generations and that is what is great."
"Deschamps is here, with his luck and his talent. We bring back the Cup and of course Deschamps has to stay. This French team makes me very proud."